Design Star | Episode 2

Monday, June 21, 2010

Geezus...if only I were there another week. I would have KILLED this challenge! Fashion as inspiration?...Hello have we met?! It was sheer torture sitting through last night's episode and it wasn't because of Nina's never-ending "I'm a Pro" rants. If they designed these challenges according to all 12 of our personalities, this one definitely would have been for me.

I felt like I was forced to drive-thru Krispy Kreme for an hour nonstop even though I just committed to a crash diet. Ahhhh, coulda shoulda woulda. It's all good folks, I'm now relegated to tuning in every Sunday to see what you see; however, I do "know" these peeps so I have a bit of an insider's perspective. No recaps here, just straight-up personal critique. That's the (small) advantage of getting booted first- I was quickly devoid of any emotional attachments to the show and contestants (save for my besties TnT) so expect my no holds-barred weekly assessments of Design Star Season 5.

Here's what I thought: Women vs. Men fashion challenge. Interesting...made more interesting by the fact that I knew the dudes were less confrontational than the chicks. At a time when everyone was sizing one another up, the guys seemed to rally and superficially get along from the get-go. The competitive tension seemed palpable amongst the women, but the guys (most of 'em) were just there to design, have a good time, and hope to win a show at the end. I, for one, completely echoed the sentiment. Going into the show, I made a personal commitment to stay in the design zone and stay outta the drama. There would be no "he sucks, she's stupid" from me, much to the producers' dismay, but all I had was my integrity and I aimed to keep it that way. (I know I resort to "integrity" A LOT but once that's out the door, you're not worthy in my eyes). It's not my style to bash another's design to help elevate my own. It is, however, totally my type to elaborately detail my own design concept when it isn't readily apparent. Stick to your guns, don't point it in any other direction, and you'll exit this competition emotionally unscathed. So it was no surprise to me that the guys were victorious, as they pledged to win as a team and check their baggage at the door. 

Men's team: Living Area designed by Courtland, Michael, and Trent
Bedroom designed by Dan and Alex, Dining Area designed by Tom
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner Boys!! :D
photo credits: HGTV

The women on the other hand, had Nina to "lead" them into inevitable extrication from the start. It seemed apparent that Nina's notion of this team challenge was "every woman for herself" so the overall execution of the space proved disparate as a result. While I applaud the idea of appointing a project manager, I find it best to achieve a common goal by a democracy, not a dictatorship. The animosity became even more apparent on the elimination panel as the claws came out and our sweet Southern belle Tera resulted to bashing Stacey for painting a chair all day long.

Nina's influence perhaps? I'm sure any one of the designers (including myself) would have volunteered such information under pressure if it meant saving our own ass; however, it backfired on Tera as Vern admitted to loving that chair even though it was repainted the saddest looking grungy grey. Cue Design Star's "Moment of Irony" for the week. But seriously, what criteria are they basing their judgment on anyway? It seemed as though the bottom two were selected for being the loudest of the bunch, while the quiet ones cleverly steered clear of the elimination action. Note to potential DS contestants, mums the design word and you'll safely cruise onto the next round. I sure learned my live out loud lesson from the White Box Challenge. C'est la vie peeps. Pick your poison and play the game. After all, that's what we signed up for right?

Women's Team Living Area: Designed by Nina, Emily, and Stacey
Bedroom designed by: Casey and Tera, Stacey's Chair
Women's Team deep in discussion

Had I produced the terms for this challenge and any subsequent ones, I would select the bottom (3) from each team and put them up for elimination. Design Star is clearly not Survivor nor the Apprentice so why the smooth sailing when random luck appointed you to the winning team? Is the bounty of securing your own show that inconsequential that even losers have a leg up? Look, I'm no award- winning television producer and at the end of the day we're tuning in to watch a TV show first, a design show second, so we can only hope that they know what they're doing with all the hysteria. And since I was eliminated prematurely, I can't even promise you a method to this madness.
So stay tuned guys and let's see if we've got ourselves a real winner in 10 weeks.


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